Don’t Analyse Līlā by Logic

Question: If Śiva is omniscient, does Satī not know about the plan as a divine energy of Lord? For instance, is she controlled by yoga-māyā potency and thus unable to know the plan of the Lord?

Answer: If everybody were to behave as if they were omniscient, then there would be no līlā. So, as part of līlā, They play as if ignorant. Even Kṛṣṇa acts in the same way. Otherwise there would be no play, no fun and no education for us from their play. They perform naralīlā.

Question: It is said that Lord Śiva told Satī that, “Rāvaṇa had pleased ten expansions (Rudras) of Lord Śiva, but not the eleventh one, who would become the helpful hand of Śrī Rāma to destroy Rāvaṇa.” So how does one understand this? Are different expansions pleased independently, but not the eleventh one? Is the eleventh one is more special and superior to other ten expansions in terms of potency? 

Answer: The meaning is that Rāvaṇa offered his ten senses to Śiva but not his ego or pride. Without ego, the offering is not complete, and pride is the root cause of evil. 

Question: For getting a son, Maharāja Keśari at Gokarṇa protected the innocent sages by slaying a demon known as Śambasādana. Pleased with Keśari for relieving them of their burden, the sages offered them Śiva mantra. As soon as Keśari chanted this mantra, Lord Śiva appeared before him and blessed him with Śiva Śakti.

So why were the sages, who could offer the mantra, unable to summon Lord Śiva for their protection and instead had to wait for someone else to chant the mantra and help them?

Answer: As said above, some of these stories are there to promote līla, which is meant to give us education. So, you do not have to analyze everything by logic. Logic is not everything. Above logic is love. And līlā is manifestation of love. You are applying logic only to understand why someone did this and not that, but not to understand the intent of the śāstra. Śāstra intends to teach us. That should be our focus. Otherwise you go on analyzing, like modern scholars, who write papers but learn nothing practical that can be applied for the betterment of life.

Question: Is the relation between Mother Kuntī and Sūrya Deva, Añjana and Vāyudeva, Parāśara Muni and Satyavatī on the physical level? Or, is it by divine power from a distance that these women give birth to a divine child without seminal contact? Does Hanumān as an expansion of Lord Śiva take birth in the same way?

Answer:  Yes. These relations are not physical as in the case of human beings. They are divine. 

Question: How does birth in heaven happen? Do the devas take birth like a normal child after 9 months, and then grow from childhood to youth as on earth?

Answer: There is no birth in heaven like that of a human child. 

Question: Indra could give a boon to Hanumān which allowed no weapon to injure him, but the same Indra was defeated by the demons. Likewise, Hanumān was injured by the weapon of Bharata while bringing the Sañjīvanī herb that was meant to revive Lakṣmaṇa. So the boons of the devatās do not give absolute protection.  

Similarly, Brahmā gave Hanuman a boon to become the eternal servant of Srī Rāma, but he himself prayed to get the mercy of Kṛṣṇa as in Brahmā vimohanalīlā, where he prays to become grass and dust of Vraja. So how to understand this? Surely, one who can give something must be a possessor of that very thing?

Answer: Indra was defeated but was he injured? Getting defeated is not same as being injured. Was Hanumān really injured by Bharata’s arrow? So did he go to hospital for a dressing, or did he just fly away as if nothing has happened? If he was really injured, how could he fly away with the mountain on his hand? He was not groaning in pain.

Becoming a servant of Rāma is not the same as entering into Vraja. 

Question: Why did our Gauḍīya ācāryas not write any commentaries on the Rāmāyaṇa?

Answer: Why do you think they should write one? They are adherents of Kṛṣṇa-bhakti and not Rāma-bhakti. 

Question: The moon rests on Lord Śiva. How does it differ from the moon in the sky?

Answer: It is a representation of the moon. The meaning is that it keeps Śiva’s head cool. 

Question: Does Lord Śiva permanently hold Gaṅgā on His head?

Answer: Just a representation of Gaṅgā. 

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Comments ( 4 )
  1. Vic DiCara

    I love these!
    The 11th Rudra, and Moon on Shiva’s head especially.

    Maybe with the sages and the shiva mantra, sages are not inclined to protect themselves. Ksatriyas are there to protect sages, etc. So each anga will fill its function, and another anga will step in only if absolutely necessary (as in the case of Brahmanas using their mantras directly on Vena)

  2. Maitreya Muni Das Post author

    Thanks, quite true, there is no room for logic in Gaudiya philosophy. It does not mean that it’s spiritual ideas are irrational. The utmost one may say is that, Lila is not non-logical/supra-logical or alogical which is different from illogical.
    Even the the Brahma Sutra elsewhere states: “lokavattu lilakaivalam”. Ramanuja also accepted Lila. Shakespeare’s well known statement “the world is a stage” more or less is an aesthetic confirmation of the meaning of life on earth.
    I do agree with the view that logical interpretation is untenable. Rupa in his Laghu Bhagavamritam says “tarka-anadarah” (the text needs correction). He was referring to Vyasas position in the Br. Sutra.

    • Maitreya Muni Das Post author

      I have been struggling to posit Bhakti in it’s devotionally emotive expression as a rasanubhava (pure or unalloyed delight of Bhakti Rasa) as the functional manifestation of the Svarupa Sakti of Bhagavad Krishna as the paramtattva as per what the Guadiya Achaaryas had gifted to mankind. To do this we have to find a way of defending Shree Rupa’s interpretation of Bhakti totally divested of the traditional jnana and karma. I believe that Rupa was instructed by Shree Chaitanya Himself to do so. And his uncommon mystical rapture of Bhaava Bhakti in its highest form of viraha rupee Shringaara Rasa was the spiritual basis for Rupa’s interpretation of Bhakti as a Rasa.
      Now, Rupa’s rejection of jnana maarga, though does not make such a divine love a blind devotional worship (Prema netra of CC) but it is the spiritual vision and experience of Prema Bhakti as the pancamaourusartha.
      Therefore, the Gaudiya Achaaryas were consistent in rejecting logic as a method though it may still be possible to use it indirectly only to refute it’s counterarguments.

    • Vic DiCara

      “There is no room for logic in Gaudiya philosophy” is extremely poorly worded. There is no siddhanta that is MORE logical than Gaudīya.

      Love is not illogical at all. It is simply superior to logic.

      Also “Bhakti is totally divested of jñāna and karma” is a very poorly worded phrase. Shree Roopa says uttam bhakti is not overshadowed (anāvṛtta) by jñāna and karma. This is because jñāna and karma are subserviant components of bhakti. Bhakti is not “divested” or “devoid” (śūnyatā) of jñāna and karma.

      Sorry, I just happened to be following these comments, since I had left a comment, and felt a need to say this. Please forgive it, and hopefully read it receptively. I probably won’t want to get into argument about it.

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